Monday, June 14, 2010

Character and Reputation

“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is really what you are, while your reputation is really what others think you are.” John Wooden

John Wooden was a college basketball coach for 29 years, and retired in 1975. Last year The Sporting News named Wooden the greatest coach of all time as selected by a panel of 118 Hall of Famers, championship coaches and other experts. That’s character and reputation.

What are you concerned with today? Are you worried about what you’re going to wear or whether you’ll have a good hair day? Or are you worried that you may not know what you’re doing or how to get from point A to point B? There are important things that should concern you today, and then there are things that don’t really matter – clothes and hair are in the latter category. But it’s easy to get hung up on the superficial stuff, to overlook the things that really matter because you’re focused on the wrong things. Who you are and what you do, whether people can rely on you and your word, questions about your integrity and how you handle important issues – those are the things that make a difference to your family, friends and colleagues. So, if you want to be remembered then you better be impeccable in these things – that’s how to measure and define your character and reputation.


"Happiness depends upon ourselves." Aristotle

Twenty-three hundred years after his death, Aristotle remains one of the most influential people who ever lived. He was the founder of formal logic, pioneered the study of zoology, and left every future scientist and philosopher in his debt through his contributions to the scientific method. I wonder if, at the time, he was happy with these accomplishments.

Are you happy? I don’t mean ‘laughing’ happy, but rather ‘contented’ happy. We go through days and months and years, and life, seemingly too preoccupied to be able to step back and find contentment and happiness. Look at all you’ll be called upon to do today as wonderful opportunities to express your thoughts and creativity with a sense of responsibility; find happiness and contentment in the things you experience and accomplish today. And while the news you read, the disappointments you observe and the troubles others experience all might serve to bring you down, let the little things you accomplish lift your spirit and lighten your heart. Take time today to become comfortable and happy with what you do and who you are. And then let that happiness shine through in all that you do.

Do the Impossible!

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney

Walt Disney is particularly noted for being a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He has won 26 Academy Awards out of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual. He was passionate about the impossible.

Will you do something fun and impossible today? Before you automatically say “sure”, stop and think about it. Everyone says they like to have fun – but do you have the appetite and stamina to keep things upbeat and moving forward? That means you have to always be positive and thoughtful and creative and helpful – that’s what makes it fun for you and those you’re with. And “impossible” –that’s just, well, impossible, so you probably don’t even want to go there. But really, it’s not about actually accomplishing the impossible as it’s about trying and learning and experiencing the impossible. You may not get all the way, but you just might accomplish something improbable. And that would be fun!

A Kind Heart

“The various features and aspects of human life, such as longevity, good health, success, happiness and so forth, which we consider desirable, are all dependent on kindness and a good heart.” H. H. The Dalai Lama

Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, usually shortened to Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub in1935) is the 14th Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader revered among the people of Tibet. He is the head of the government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

What is in your heart today? You wish for a long life, hopefully filled with health and success and happiness. If you knew your life would be long but that you’d be unhappy and unhealthy – would you still care to go on? If you knew that success would always elude you – would you still get up and try? If you were kind and sincere but rarely felt the same from those around you – would you still care? The truth is that in life it’s never all one way or the other – you must accept both the good and bad, and still continue as if all were good. The challenges we face may seem like uphill battles when in fact they are just as yet unknown and unrealized opportunities to learn and grow. Acting with a good heart filled with kindness is a path worth following. Start today on this wondrous and rewarding journey.

The More You Know

“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss
Theodore Geisel, whose middle name was Seuss (as in Dr.), was a cartoonist, animator and prolific writer of those wild and crazy children’s books we all grew up with and loved. These were often illustrated with imaginative characters, rhyme, and frequent use of trisyllabic meter. His writing was fun, as fun as fun could be; and his stories make you think and cry out with laughter and with glee.
In life there are things to see and to read, and there are lessons to learn to be as good as you can be. ‘And sometimes there comes an act of Enormous Enormance! One where no former performer's performed this performance!’ This act is then the challenge for you and for me. To see who is the she and who is the he who’s who is the best it can possibly be? So pay attention to the mention of the things you should know, and then see all the places you’ll be able to go!